19/07/2011 10:03 BST | Updated 18/09/2011 06:12 BST

Nearly One Quarter Of Met Police Press Officers Worked For News International, Police Chief Says

Nearly one quarter of the Metropolitan Police’s press staff have worked for News International at some point, Sir Paul Stephenson, the outgoing commissioner, revealed on Tuesday.

The news will deepen questions about the relationship between the police and the newspaper group, after it was revealed that former News of the World journalist Neil Wallis was employed by police as a PR consultant.

The Metropolitan Police chief, who resigned from his post on Sunday after questions about his links to Wallis, told MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee:

“I understand there are 10 members of the DPA staff that have worked for News International in some capacity in the past, in some cases journalists, in some cases undertaking work experience in the organisation.”

The news was greeted with incredulity by the select committee chief, MP Keith Vaz.

There are 45 people working in the Metropolitan Police’s Department of Public Affairs.

The committee also pressed Sir Paul on the Evening Standard's report that the News of the World’s chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck worked for police as an informer during his time at the paper.

Sir Paul said he would not have been aware of the relationship.